Former Test captain Zaheer Abbas has expressed his frustration at what he considers a lack of ‘staying at the wicket temperament’ amongst the current crop of Pakistani batsmen.
“I don’t think the batsmen have that temperament to stay at the wicket for a long time, and somebody has to teach them. To score a century you have to have a lot of patience, to stay at the wicket for a long long time. To complete a century you need to stay at the wicket for at least three and a half hours,” said Abbas.
The patience to play big innings is the kind of a mindset that Abbas had cultivated in his distinguished career as Pakistan’s premier batsman. He said he had no doubt about the priceless value of a batsman who is a run accumulator as opposed to one who plays a shot filled “flashy”, yet brief innings.
“There is no value in sitting in the dressing room but you have a lot of value when at the crease such a player,” he pointed out.
Abbas was not too impressed with the antics of the so-called young guns either. He singled out Asad Shafiq’s knock in Pakistan’s World Cup semifinal clash against India as an example.
“The way he got out against India – a straightforward ball that he was trying to cut – well if you can do well in a big match, then nothing like it, but he didn’t,” noted Abbas.
Abbas also felt that Pakistani coaching was too orientated towards bowling excellence, with little attention towards batting.
When asked whether he was ready to join as Pakistan’s batting coach if the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) made such an offer to him, Abbas, who is fondly remembered as the Asian Bradman, replied unambiguously: "Of course."